Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Despite the rapid growth of the multiracial population there is a dearth of literature that informs the field of counseling psychology about the identity development and well-being of multiracial people. More specifically, there is little research which explores the challenge of having one’s racial identity repeatedly questioned and/or miscategorized, and how these experiences of racial miscategorization and racial incongruence may influence their identity choices and well-being. The sample consisted of 11 total participants, (women N = 9, men N = 2) who self-identified as racially ambiguous and of multiracial descent. Overall findings of the study suggest that experiences of racial miscategorization and being questioned about racial background (e.g. What are you?) had a negative impact on well-being, though many individuals considered these experiences as helpful building resilience later in life. Although racial miscategorization and being questioned about racial background was found to negatively impact well-being, it was found to have a positive impact on racial identity and development. Implications and future directions are discussed.